Tag:Atlanta Falcons
Posted on: August 17, 2010 11:07 pm
 

Final season for Tony Gonzalez?

Posted by Andy Benoit

With Brett Favre’s done waffling for this year, we now have room for this story: Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez is contemplating retirement in 2011. The future First Ballot Hall of Famer told Alex Marvez of Fox Sports that there is a 50-50 chance the 2010 season could be his last. T. Gonzalez (US Presswire)

Gonzalez is 34 but not slowing down. However, he has interests outside of football (including cooking, entertainment-based activities and posing almost-nude with his smoking hot wife in an effort to convince people to not eat meat).

But in reading Marvez’s article, Gonzalez sounds a lot like a veteran sick of training camp, rather than a veteran sick of making millions playing a sport he loves. Gonzalez himself seems to realize this:

“It is year to year,” Gonzalez said after a Monday practice at the Falcons’ headquarters. “I could play another three or four years. I know I could ... There’s a lot of different factors. Yeah, I’d probably come back but you never know. I’m going to wait.”

“It is year to year,” Gonzalez said after a Monday practice at the Falcons’ headquarters. “I could play another three or four years. I know I could ... There’s a lot of different factors. Yeah, I’d probably come back but you never know. I’m going to wait.”

The 34-year-old Gonzalez then laughed.

“If you ask me now, I’d tell you I don’t know if I’m going to play this year because I’m in (training) camp,” he said. “Football is a grind. That’s why (NFL) careers only last three years. It’s tough on your body. It’s tough on you mentally. I’m just fortunate to be playing this long.”

“If you ask me now, I’d tell you I don’t know if I’m going to play this year because I’m in (training) camp,” he said. “Football is a grind. That’s why (NFL) careers only last three years. It’s tough on your body. It’s tough on you mentally. I’m just fortunate to be playing this long.”

The Falcons’ success in 2010 will likely factor heavily into Gonzalez’s decision. Prolific as he is, Gonzalez has just one playoff victory in his 14-year career. He wants the elusive Super Bowl ring. “That’s the only thing driving me right now,” Gonzalez said. “It’s not numbers. It’s not milestones. It’s not money. It’s not glory. It’s not going out trying to be famous and all that stuff. It’s one thing.
 
“It’s not a secret. People have known it. It’s the reason I got out of Kansas City (last offseason) and the reason I’m here. I don’t want to just go to the playoffs. I want to win the whole thing. I think we’ve got a good chance here.”

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Category: NFL
Posted on: August 16, 2010 3:19 pm
 

Around the League: Tebow, Big Ben, Fitz & Mittens

Posted by Will Brinson

So, Tim Tebow played some football last night. I thought it was "impressive." Many of you felt differently, but that's okay.

What was impressive about his play? Well that (and what WASN'T that impressive) was the top topic in today's "Around the League" video with Lauren Shehadi.

We also talked about whether Larry Fitzgerald's knee injury should be considered serious/dangerous, when/if Mike Tomlin will get Ben Roethlisberger on the field in the 2010 preseason and whether or not David Carr (aka Mister Mittens) qualifies as a threat to Alex Smith's starting gig in San Francisco.

Pete Prisco then takes over from Falcons training camp before I confirm his suspicious that Atlanta could seriously contend this season and we close out by discussing the single biggest factor in tonight's Jets-Giants preseason matchup. (Aka REVIS.)




Posted on: August 15, 2010 1:43 pm
 

Some good news for the Bucs?

Posted by Andy Benoit

ESPN.com’s Pat Yasinkas points out an interesting fact about the NFC South. Since the NFL’s divisional realignment in 2002, 12 times has a last-place team finished first in its division the following year. Six of those 12 times involved the NFC South. All four NFC South teams have accomplished this feat. In fact, it’s happened every year with the exception of 2008:

• 2003 Carolina Panthers. Went from 7-9 to 11-5 and reached the Super Bowl.
• 2004 Atlanta Falcons. Went from 5-11 to 11-5.
• 2005 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Followed a 5-11 season with an 11-5 year.
• 2006 New Orleans Saints. Jumped from 3-13 to 10-6.
• 2007 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Went from 4-12 to 9-7.
• 2009 New Orleans Saints. Followed an 8-8 season with a 13-3 record and a Super Bowl championship.
For what it's worth, the Bucs finished last in the NFC South last season.

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Posted on: August 15, 2010 11:46 am
 

Hot Routes 8.15.10: Overhyping the preseason

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Jets offensive linemen Matt Slauson and Vladimir Ducasse are both competing for the starting left guard position. Slauson has the edge right now, but he was a sixth-round pick in ’09. Ducasse, a second-rounder in ’10, figures to be the future.

Former USC Trojan took another positive step in his football rebirth last night, impressing Seahawks coaches and fans with his 51-yard touchdown reception and run-blocking against the Titans/

Falcons followers have been paying close attention to rookie linebacker Sean Weatherspoon. The first-rounder started ahead of Mike Peterson at weakside linebacker in Atlanta’s preseason debut.

Josh Freeman was 4/4 passing, including a touchdown strike to Sammie Stroughter, in page/MIA">Dolphins" target="_blank">Tampa Bay’s preseason opener against the Dolphins.

Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic, has a great headline for his column today: “Matt Leinart Blessed by a lack of competition”. Leinart did not look great in Arizona’s preseason opener.

One of the best offensive tackles in the game, Baltimore’s Jared Gaither, continues to battle the injury bug. On Saturday the Baltimore Sun reported that Gaither has been diagnosed with a tear in his back and could miss 2-3 weeks. Gaither had foot problems during the offseason and also suffered serious weight loss early in training camp.

Though he didn’t look particularly great against the Ravens Thursday night, there has been some buzz about Panthers rookie receiver Brandon LaFell. Now, his fellow rookie, Armanti Edwards, is getting some hype.

Packers rookie Morgan Burnett drew passing grades in his preseason debut filling in for injured starting strong safety Atari Bigby. The key for the athletic playmaker is to prove he can be physical.

Former and current Packer tight ends Mark Chmura and Jermichael Finley have been exchanging public barbs like a couple of junior high schoolers (actually, on further thought, given some of their passive-aggressive undertones, the barbs are probably more of an early high school level). We haven’t paid much attention to it, but if you want to read some details, you can click here.

Jack Del Rio still doesn’t seem too high on safety Reggie Nelson.

Jets and Giants open their new stadium tomorrow night. Given that it’s the New York market, does it seem like there is slightly less hype for this $1.6 billion venue than you’d guess?

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Posted on: August 13, 2010 6:37 pm
Edited on: August 13, 2010 6:39 pm
 

Reasons to watch tonight's preseason action

Posted by Andy Benoit

Usually, the best part of a preseason game is simply seeing two teams in NFL uniforms on the same field. Tonight, there are three games, each with a unique reason to watch (maybe). Here’s what’s on the NFL’s Friday night docket (with a reason to watch listed below): K. Kolb (US Presswire)
Bills @ Redskins

McNabb’s debut in Washington. He’ll probably play two or three series. But we’ll get a quick glimpse at his on-field chemistry with Washington’s very mediocre receiving corps.

Also, bonus: what will Albert Haynesworth do in this game?

Chiefs @ Falcons

Tony Gonzalez faces his former team…for a few minutes, anyway.

Jaguars @ Eagles

Last year, this matchup gave us the Michael Vick return. This year, we get the Kevin Kolb debut. Sort of. Kolb has started games before – regular season games, in fact. But this is a tad different. For the first time, he’ll be taking the field as The Man in Philly. It’s a bigger deal that he’s doing so at home, where the Eagles fans will overreact to his every move. Will Kolb give in to the temptation to try and do too much? Will he be poised? How he plays shouldn’t matter (it’s the first preseason game, after all). But, given that Kolb’s performance will set the tone for Philly’s talk radio world and blogosphere the next few weeks, his performance tonight does matter.

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Posted on: August 11, 2010 10:45 pm
 

The Falcons need Finneran

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

With two of Atlanta’s best receivers out of action – that’d be Michael Jenkins with a shoulder and Harry Douglas, who’s still recovering from knee surgery – 34-year-old Brian Finneran will take many of the practice reps in place of them.

Finneran hasn’t been a full-time starter since 2003, and he really seemed to fall off last year, making just 11 catches for 111 yards in 10 games while dealing with his long-term knee injury problems.

But if the Falcons need him to start, then he’ll start.

"I've been there before," Finneran told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution . "It's been a while since I've been asked to do it, but you just go out there and play football. I've been on the football field for a long time now. Whether if you are a two, three or number one [receiver], you go out there and play."

Jenkins likely will miss four to six weeks, which means Finneran could go into the regular season as the starter at that WR spot. Finneran always has used his 6-foot-5 height to his advantage, and he’s got good hands. And if he can stay healthy, he might continue to have a significant role on this squad even when Jenkins returns.

"A lot of times, the number [one receivers] of the world, you know who they are, the Roddy Whites and Larry Fitzgeralds of the world," Finneran told the paper. "But from two through four, those guys get to step up and make plays every week. So you just go out there and do it."

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Posted on: August 9, 2010 9:56 pm
 

Falcons lose Michael Jenkins for 4-6 weeks

Posted by Andy Benoit
M. Jenkins (US Presswire)
Rest assured Falcons fans, your team will be just fine without wide receiver Michael Jenkins. Jenkins, a seventh-year veteran, suffered a shoulder injury during an intrasquad scrimmage Friday night. Fortunately, he is only expected to sit 4-6 weeks. That means he’ll likely miss just one or two regular season games.

"You are always concerned anytime any of your players goes down with an injury," said Falcons head coach Mike Smith, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.  "One thing I am certain of is that Michael will work very hard with our athletic performance staff and our training staff to get back out on the field as soon as possible."

Though plagued by drops early in his career, Jenkins has evolved into one of the sounder possession receivers in the game. His terrific blocking and willingness to go over the middle make him an excellent fit in Mike Mularkey’s system. That said, the Falcons still have superstar receiver Roddy White and future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez. Plus, the Falcons utilize two tight-end formations with greater frequency than any team in football, so Jenkins’s absence could actually translate to more snaps for Justin Peelle and fullback Ovie Mughelli.

The depth chart suggests Harry Douglas should fill in for Jenkins. But Douglas is a speedy, diminutive slot weapon. A better replacement for the 6’4”, 215-pound Jenkins would be veteran Brian Finneran (6’5”, 206) or fifth-round rookie Kerry Meier (6’2”, 224). Whoever lines up outside is the Falcons will remain a power-oriented team with just enough aerial firepower to survive a few weeks being shorthanded.

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Posted on: August 8, 2010 9:45 pm
 

Michael Jenkins out 4-6 weeks

Michael Jenkins will miss 4-6 weeks, the team announced Sunday night. Jenkins injured his shoulder on Friday night's scrimmage.

"You are always concerned anytime any of your players goes down with an injury," said Falcons head coach Mike Smith. "One thing I am certain of is that Michael will work very hard with our athletic performance staff and our training staff to get back out on the field as soon as possible."

It's a blow to the Falcons, but nothing too tremendous -- they have plenty of weapons on the offensive end even if Jenkins misses even more time.

Follow us on Twitter and stayed tuned to the Falcons' Rapid Reports for more info as it's updated.

 
 
 
 
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